March 28, 2020
SIU Students and Families,
We have been notified by the Jackson County Health Department that a second campus case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed. The individual is in the same residence hall as the first student diagnosed on Thursday, March 26. All 21 residents of the hall have been placed in quarantine by the health department and are fully supported with food and other necessities.
In fact, we are fortunate that these and other students on campus have access to the full resources of the university–including student health and housing services–as well as the expertise of the Jackson County Health Department and other health agencies during this unprecedented time. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.
It is important that we all understand that most communities across the country will experience COVID-19. We are no different. The following is from the Jackson County Health Department: “We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.”
These are challenging times, but they also demonstrate our resilience as a community. People are donating funds for food, laptops and other emergency needs for students. Our faculty and staff members—those who must be on campus and those who are able to work from home -- are going above and beyond to support students as they adapt to a new teaching and work environment.
We appreciate our students’ willingness to remain engaged and adjust to the transition to online learning. We thank all of the family members and friends who are supporting our students in these challenging times.
I am also very impressed with the excellent coordination that is occurring among health care agencies and providers. These include Southern Illinois Healthcare, the Jackson County Health Department and our own Student Health Services. Their ability to work together and be supportive of one another, including our own student health care providers is commendable. And, of course, we are very fortunate to have our own School of Medicine for support and consultation.
We urge everyone to follow the governor’s “stay-at-home” order and stay safe. We are in this together, and we are working together. Thank you for doing your part.
John M. Dunn